tv Washington Journal CSPAN February 17, 2015 7:20pm-8:01pm EST
>> host: william harvey the present of hampton university. dr. harvey thank you for joining us. >> guest: is my pleasure to be with you pedro. >> host: dr. harvey we are going to talk about university but i want to talk about another whirl you serve that deals with the world at historically black colleges and university. you are the chairman of the president's board of advisers on this. could you tell us about that organization and what its purpose is? >> guest: first of all president obama did appoint me
as chairman of the president's advisory board on historically black colleges and universities. actually this started under president jimmy carter and every president democrat and republican since then has appointed a board as well as a chair so i was privileged to serve president obama and the obama administration and hbcu's in this capacity. the chief reason for us is to be an advocate for the very good work that so many of our historically black colleges and universities are doing. >> host: so as part of the work you do on the board talk a little bit about some of the issues you are dealing with not only related to your university but other universities as well and as the white house responsive to those issues? >> guest: there are a number of issues we are dealing with.
we just had a meeting in washington yesterday as an example and we do have some concerns on a number of issues. one of them deals with the rating system that has been proposed. the good thing about that is that secretary duncan and undersecretary ted mitchell to me are very transparent. they are very responsive. they are listening to what we have to say. there are some other issues that perhaps we could have been the country maybe could've been better served if we had served in more of an advisory role. for example there is a proposal to provide free tuition at community colleges for certain groups. well you know there are always consequences and unintended consequences. if you think about it if a parent who is already hurting
because of the economy has a choice of paying tuition the even at the most inexpensive public institutions are getting free tuition then more than likely eight or nine out of 10 will choose the free tuition. i think that the group of institutions that will be harmed the most by this may very well be hbcu's. there are some of us that perhaps won't be harmed as much but some of us will be harmed a great deal. one of the things that the board talk about yesterday was that we wished we would have had an opportunity to weigh in a bit more with the policymakers so they could have understood perhaps a more holistic view. one of the analogies that was
used is there was also a proposal to eliminate the tax break on the 529's. that is a scholarship for kids to go to school. after the public outcry that has been walked back. i think a little more device from stakeholders and friends before these policies are announced probably probably would better serve everybody. >> host: on the topic of financers dr. harvey talk a little bit about pell grants. there were changes made to the program system which would affect all universities but particularly how do they affect hbcus? >> guest: this is just another example of what i'm talking about. you might remember the parent plus loans program was dramatically changed without any real input from any of us and
again i must say secretary duncan has been very responsive to us as it relates to trying to work through some of the issues. that was a significant change and the law requires that there be public hearings before there is a significant change. a little bit of foresight would have been helpful there. the pell loan program -- a program is the same so i am saying i think the advice and counsel of the people that are appointed to provide advice to the council upfront might've helped a lot. i also hasten to say that secretary duncan really and truly has been very helpful, very transparent and very forthcoming in trying to seek solutions to some of these problems. >> host: our guest is william harvey of hampton university. he serves as their president
joining us from the c-span bus as we talk with the heads of historically black colleges and universities. if you want to ask him questions about issues along these lines to lines that we have divided this point. (202)748-8000 few attentions at an hbcu and -- and you can tweak your thoughts at that journal at c-span.org. dr. harvey tell us about hampton university. how do you sell hampton to students that are considering your college to other colleges that they maybe will to go to? >> guest: well hampton is a wonderful institution. we were founded in 1868 by brigadier general samuel chapman armstrong on some very strong principles. we say that but they do is to provide the very best education
possible under any circumstances and compared to an institution. that's number one and number two we believe very strongly in character development. we don't apologize for that. we believe in honesty and integrity and responsibility taking responsibility for one's actions, respect for oneself and respect for others. in today's world we think that these things are just as important as they were when john armstrong founded the place in 1868. we are on a peninsula here in virginia. we have had water on three sides of her campus. we think it's the prettiest campus anywhere bar none. i think that is one of the things that sells itself. we have a wonderful alumni association. they provide financial support trade they provide recruitment support and they provide their
prayers for us. down through the years hampton has always had some of the movers and shakers of this country associated with us. john rockefeller was on the board. george eastland who was the patriarch of the eastman kodak and coleman. pont the founder of the. pont fortune just as examples. margaret mead and we have had always five or six fortune 500 company ceos associated with us. so our legacy is one of high-quality. not just quality but high-quality. the fact that we talk about character so often we feel that as important as i said we really do not apologize for that. last year as an example when some schools were hurting
majority and minority hampton received 19,000 applications for about 1000 positions in our freshman class. a lot of that has to do with our curricula offerings and we have strong business. we have pharmacy. we have physical therapy. we have got nursing. we have a strong liberal arts undergirding sore academic program is very strong and the insistence on character development resonates with a lot of people. the fact that we have a strong extracurricular activity program program. ever your hampton university wins championships. even in the last olympics we had two young ladies that competed. women's basketball team has won the conference championship for the last five years. the women's softball team won it last year. the volleyball team won the championship last year. if you look at all those things starting with academics and then you look at the character
development that i have come back to three or four times and probably will come back to again because as i said we are unapologetically pushing that in our young people. one of the things that i tell our young folks and by the way i meet with students once a month. the student leaders the sga president and vice president other officers the class presidents and others the editor of the student newspaper, the editor of our yearbook. so we meet with her students often and we talk about the kinds of things that i'm talking about here. i tell them that is so very important that no matter what they do when they beat hampton become a doctor, lawyer businessman or woman whatever it's so important for them to not just mouth the words of giving back to their community trade they must be of service. we teach that and we preach that and that goes a long ways.
hosgri her first call for dr. william harvey of hampton university is marcel from lille and north carolina. good morning. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. good morning dr. harvey. i did not attend a historically black college but my children did. i went to purdue and one thing i can say about the hbcu that they seem to have a camaraderie that did not exist for a black student especially one that was not attending a typical college curriculum. i did have an opportunity to visit your campus when my young people were looking at schools. jack and jill of america had a team conference there and you have to drop dead gorgeous campus. i was not even aware of that when i was looking at schools in
the 70s. my bond with hampton is such that when i was in an interior design business that a family gave to me my sorority i spoke to for different black universities and i consider howard tuskegee and if you can describe the relationship of hampton had with tuskegee is the ivy league of black colleges. >> host: thank you. dr. harvey. >> guest: well thank you very much and again what she is saying is first of all i keep saying that we prepare our students with some of the best in the entire world and with their character development and the beauty of our campus she talked about the camaraderie. there are so many young folk to
go to schools and i don't have a problem with anybody going to a majority school when they graduate they can find them here at home coming and you can find them here at our athletic contests and other kinds of contests. it's almost as if we have at all, strong academics, good camaraderie, love of campus, love of each other and that works well with us. i would emphasize the fact that when i'm talking the first thing i talk about is good academics. that's important with us. that's a sine qua non-with us but the other things almost like icing on the cake. the fact is they are here. i went to a predominantly black college undergraduate school in virginia state and i got my doctorate from harvard. i have had the very wonderful good fortune of being able to
get the best of both worlds and i will tell you hampton university measures up to any institution and as we get more into the conversation will give you some examples. >> host: let. >> host: let me had to take a call from peter in reno nevada. good morning, go ahead. >> caller: gentlemen good morning. i am and studies at fordham and i wanted to complement the athletic concert on their high standards as far as academics are concerned. i am in an arena right now were actually designing a solar park but i wanted to make a few comments here. if here. i visited over 300 universities and colleges in north america and caribbean. my mother prior to their pastor -- passing visited hampton with me a few summers ago. two things i would like you to comment on. one the increase that i think is necessary in the program because
of high tuition mainly in a private university. fordham is $63,000 a year and marvin mcnickle who was head of the illogical school at colgate did graduate work at florida state and taught at the university of mexico briefly in 1992. i wanted you to comment about that in if you could while i was a sophomore at fordham to allen baci decision which was a decision that affects people who are of caucasian persuasion and a lot don't realize they can go to the historical black colleges and universities as a minority. >> host: thanks peter. dr. harvey go ahead. >> guest: to your formal question as you know as to your latter questioned the market decision created a great deal of consternation with the number of educators both black and white because it did affect both majority and minority. hampton happens to be about 15%
in any given year, 12 to 15% white. we are at historically black colleges and universities proud of that tradition. many of us are here by choice and the fact is that we do provide such a high-quality education. to your former question about tell we need to do more and we need to do better providing support for disadvantaged students no matter where they go. there is no norm across-the-board because there were more programs at some institutions unless that others. but the fact is that education is the key to freedom for everybody. education is the key to a good society, good government, a good country and the more that we can provide education for everybody but better off all of us will be great i have been a strong advocate for increasing the pell
grants. unfortunately pell grants are down at historically black colleges and universities. i am known and my reputation is that i'm always very respectful but i'm always very direct sowing conversations with people at the white house and the department of education and other places i am pushing us -- for a studio to get more pell grants that will probably help more hbcus than hampton. the fact is my number one educational priority is always the hampton but number two is hbcus because i believe so strongly in what we do. that is why i spend my time energy and efforts to work on behalf of hbcus and quite frankly i'm proud of some of the things we have been able to accomplish. i'm proud of the fact that we do speak truth to power in a very
respectful way and that has worked well for us here at hampton and i think it has worked well for the president's advisory board and hbcus. >> host: dr. harvey you have about 4400 students enrolled at your university. how does that number compared to other universities and are you concerned about that size as you go on for the college's longevity? >> guest: we do have about 4400. we had about 6300 at one point several years ago and we made a conscious effort to reduce because our student faculty ratio is about 14-1. only got up to 6300 it was about 18-1 and we thought that was too large. you might remember i said earlier in the program last year we had about 19,000 applications in the year before that we had about 16,000 applications. the fact is if we were
enrollment driven not only would we have 4400 students, we probably could have 14000 students. we don't want to be a school that size. we want to be the kind of school that we are come emphasizing academics, emphasizing character emphasizing the kind of nurturing that hampton and other hbcus bring to the table. so we would probably always be somewhere between 4,005,000 but that is by design. because if we wanted to turn the switch as early as next year we could go up to six or 7000 given the number of applications that hampton is receiving. >> host: washington d.c. are lined for those who attended and hbcu is ed. go ahead. >> caller: dr. harvard hillel. i also attended hampton university and i speak german
and spanish also. hampton university the first ph.d. program you had for physicists. hampton university did a marvelous job and you are doing great to this day but i'm concerned about hbcus losing their business department. we are not getting our fair share of the industrial projects and physics are very important subject. i wanted to get your opinion on that. when i was in germany the german government required when industries go on vacation our students are able to go to work in the industry and the german law they had to -- i don't see
why they don't have a similar program in this country to do that. >> host: thank you ed and dr. harvard is a tweet from a viewer this is how much of your budget is dedicated to his science technology engineering and math majors compared to the humanities. >> guest: will to your speaker first of all let me say to him go pirates. i'm so happy to hear you talk about your experience at hampton. i absolutely agree with you as it relates to the stem fields and we did have the first ph.d. program in physics. we had 24 masters degrees and 70 or 72 bachelor degrees. but as a relates to stem the fact is we need to get more minorities into stem. the fact also is unfortunately there was a national science foundation report just last month which indicated that
support for stem education by the federal government was down tremendously. one of the things the national science foundation report said was that we are at the lowest level since the year 2000. if you think about it everybody talks about the fact that it's very difficult for a person with just a high school graduate to get a job. then one goes on to college if one is fortunate enough to do that. and if there is an opportunity to study any of the stem fields everybody is talking about it. that is where the jobs are going to be and what the federal government reducing that we think that's a travesty. i spoke to this yesterday in our meeting because again these were not my statistics. these were the national science foundation statistics that stem training and support from the federal government to hbcus was down.
now it makes no sense. if you talk about the fact that you want to get more folks in the stem fields, talk about the fact that you want to be able to get to be number one again as it relates to baccalaureate up in the world we used to be a now we are not. you can't get there without hbcus. he can't get there without the hamptons of the world. you can't get there so i wish those policymakers could understand that. you say one thing out of one side of your mouth and then they do something else that doesn't support the contention you are making. i'm very much interested in trying to push the whole concept of stem. we have a school of engineering and the school of science in pharmacy and the school of nursing. we have got and the various departments in those schools including things like computer science and the like.
we need to be putting more money into those fields. we need to be doing more and better. i'm pushing very hard justice i am here on this program to try to make sure our policymakers our congresspeople understand that. the fact is it's not all left on the administration. congress can direct funds to certain areas and to make sure the administration no matter who is in power democrats or republicans can understand that they have to spend the money the way congress appropriated. so i'm a big advocate of pushing hard as i said in a very respectful way but being very direct as i am here we need to do more and we need to do better. >> host: from florida this is eric. good morning. >> caller: good morning. dr. harvey thank you for all the work you do and i appreciate
your last comments on stem. i went to auburn university and engineering. my question for you is how does hampton or any hbcu balance or maintain the decreased racial tension we have in the united states in confronting racism versus racial pride and how does your organization -- [inaudible] thank you. >> guest: well first of all you should know i am also a fellow alabamian. i was born 200 miles south of birmingham. i was adjunct professor at auburn when i was the administrative vice president of tuskegee so we have a lot in common. let me say this. racism is still alive and well. things are a lot better than
when i came along in alabama. things are better but racism is still alive and well. one of the things we can do and not just hbcus but all of us we need to make sure that we can have some realistic dialogue. for example and i know that i'm getting into probably a touchy area but that's not anything strange for me. there are some people talking about anti-police. he can't be anti-police. would you have got to do is make sure that committee people get together, ministers, businessmen, doctors lawyers policemen, the government and try to make sure that we take care of rogue cops. yeah there are rogue cops. take care of them. they are policemen and women that do wrong. you take care of them. you don't cover that up but also on the side of those talking
about being anti-police all you are going to do is have more anarchy in our communities than you have police. you will see increases in murders and rapes and robberies and things like that. the thing to do is the communities need to come together. we have a big research project and we have $13.5 million from nih. one of the components of that is looking at violence in our communities. i said to the people at nih that violence was the health disparity in our community. the other areas are cardiovascular disease and diabetes obesity and allen auma and violence but the fact is if you look at black-on-black crime over 90% black-on-black murders much more so than anywhere else so we have to be realistic. i feel the thing to do is both sides need to come together. i will say those people talking
about being anti-police i think that's crazy. i think what you have got to do is work with the police forces, work with the governments of small towns as well as large communities and to try to work out a system whereby there is accountability on the part of the police because otherwise as i said you will have anarchy. it may be different from others so what i believe people sitting down on both sides of the table and want to be surprised when you can sit down in a civil way and talk about problems and talk about issues what kinds of solutions can come from that. i will tell you over my time not only carried hampton and i been president of hampton for 37 years but all of my adult life even in personal relationships people have differences of opinion. what one has to do is respect
those opinions and sometimes agree to disagree but you work towards the common good. that is my take on some of the racial issues. yes racism is still alive and well and we should continue to push as i do. but the fact is we need to be realistic and we don't need to think about no police in our communities and being anti-police. >> host: are just as you heard him say the president of hampton university for 37 years. it also says in your biothat you are an owner of a pensacola bottling company michigan. how do you do both at the same time? >> guest: you know i like anecdotally to tell people i do things things long-term. at the present of hampton for 20 years and i've owned the pepsico to bottling company for 30 years and i've been married to the same woman for -- i don't do anything i am not passionate about and i believe
in entrepreneurship. when i was interviewed at hampton for the job some 38 years ago i told the board that if they elected me i would want to run hampton like a business for educational agendas. that is what we have done. everybody has always liked that. everybody has and always like that but the fact is before he became president as an example we have an unbalanced budget for two decades. fortunately we have balanced our budget every single year that i have been here. i want to say this to you and the audience. my mother and father were my first role models. i used my mother's advice running my business which was a 200 million-dollar business a year my mother used to tell my sister and me if you only have 1 dollar you can't go to the grocery store and buy a $1.25 worth of groceries. the same as with here if you
don't have the revenue to export their support your expenditures you can't buy that equipment you can't buy that office furniture, you can't travel. he can do these things so what we must do is look at a budget not just on the expense side but the revenue side as well. when i became president in $29 million in endowment. we have about 290 million right now so we have tried to look out for both sides of that budget, both sides of the issue. we try to make sure we can bring in the revenue and we try to make sure we are judicious in our spending on the expense side of the budget. >> host: this is eva from michigan attended an hbcu. if the go-ahead. >> caller: i did not attend an hbcu. i'm a northern graduate of northern colleges that my mother did that i wanted to say that dr. harvey thank you for everything you have said. i want to approach it from more
of a social science perspective. can you talk a little bit about the continuing need for hbcus? i have heard the discussion in advance that now with integration we really don't need such colleges and universities as they hbcus and can you talk about the continuing influence of these schools and america? i thank you and i will wait for your response. >> host: well thank you -- >> guest: well thank you for that question michigan. there's no doubt in my mind that there is an acute need for us to continue. i talked earlier about the fact that some of the broader goals can't be done without hbcus. i will say to you that if you look at some of the issues in our areas in our schools the fact is we need to train more african-american teachers and we also need to train more
african-american and latino male teachers to be in our classrooms all over the country but particularly in our urban area. we being hbcus probably train more low income and disadvantaged students than any other subset. doesn't mean that schools like hampton do not get the very best and brightest because we do. hampton does but the thing i say to people is that hbcus like minority institutions are not a monolith. some of us are very good, some of us are poor most of us are in the middle. hampton happens to be one that is very good and i will take this time to illustrate the point. we have a 225 million-dollar
cancer treatment center. it's the largest in the world. i'm not talking about cancer research. i'm talking about cancer treatment. we treat,, lung pediatric and brain cancers. since we started we have treated over 1000 patients using human misery and saving lives. even as i talked to today hampton has three satellites. we won a competitive 140 million-dollar contract from nasa. that satellite was put up several years ago and it's still flying. you have heard me say in this interview that we have schools of pharmacy physical therapy business and nursing and so forth. these things are so very important that everybody doesn't have that and that's okay. if you talk about the university of hbcus there's no doubt in
my mind that not only would we be where we are today as a race but where this country in the world wants to go in the future without hbcus. the last comment on this point i am told that by the year 2018 the majority of white people will be the minority and people of color will be the majority. so the fact is there still is a crying need for hbcus and certainly schools like hampton to emphasize high-quality high academic and yet at the same time we do not turn our backs on others. i will give you a quick example. when i came here when of the things i instituted was 20% of our freshman class would go to those students who did not meet normal admissions requirements. 80% is pretty competitive and i mean competitive with you name it harvard, yale stanford you
name it. also i know so many of us including myself would not be where we are today if somebody had not given us an opportunity. 20% of our freshman class is reserved for those students who did not meet normal admissions requirements for hampton university. i'm very proud of that justice i'm very proud of the 80%. let me follow up on that. we chart the students and i will tell you what we find. freshman year 80% of the pier and 20% is down here. the gap starts to narrow sophomore year, junior year and senior year you can't tell the difference. you can tell the difference in the academics and you can't tell the difference in their deportment. the same percentage gets sent home for getting in trouble in the same percentage plunks out
so that tells me a great deal of it is environmental. if you come to a place like canton where you can get the kind of nurturing and get the high academics that's something to strive for. folks know what the expectations aren't doesn't make a difference how you came in. how you leave. >> host: dr. harvey we have to leave it here. dr. harvey president of hampton university. dr. harvey thank you for taking the time and talking with us this morning. >> guest: it's my pleasure and i have enjoyed it and i want to thank your listeners for calling in. i think every question was a great question so i thank them as well.
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